Climate and Soil
Sponge gourd can be grown in tropical and sub-tropical climate.It grows well under warm and humid conditions. It is very sensitive to frost and low temperature. It can be grown in all types of soils, but sandy loam soil is ideal for its cultivation.
PSG-9 (2005) : The vines of this variety are medium long with dark green leaves. The fruits are smooth, long, tender and dark green.It takes 60 days from transplanting to first picking. Average fruit weight is 65 g and yield is 65 q/acre.
Pusa Chikni: The plants are medium sized with dark green leaves. The fruits are medium sized, smooth, 2.5 to 3.5 cm thick and tender. Average yield is 35-40 q/acre.
Sowing Time: 1. Mid February to March 2. Mid May to July.
Seed Rate: Use 2.0 kg of seed per acre.
Spacing: Sow at least two seeds per hill on one side of 3 meter wide beds at a spacing of 75-90 cm.
Manures and Fertilizers
Apply 40 kg of N (90 kg of Urea), 20 kg of P2O5 (125 kg of Single Super phosphate) and 20 kg of K2O (35 kg of Muriate of Potash ) per acre. Apply 1/3 N, whole P2O5 and K2O at the time of sowing. Apply remaining N in two equal splits one and two months after sowing.Irrigation: The first irrigation should be given just after seed sowing. During summer season, irrigate the crop at 7-10 days interval.The crop can be grown during rainy season with limited irrigation.Total number of irrigation would be 7-8.
The crop will be ready for harvest in about 70-80 days after sowing.The picking should be done at an interval of 3-4 days. Harvest onlytender and medium sized fruits.
The raising of seed crop is similar to that of crop grown for table purpose, except that of difference in harvesting stage of the fruit. The best time for raising the seed crop is Feb.-March rather than the rainy season, since harvesting and extraction of seed is convenient in the dry spell. A minimum isolation distance of 1000 metre betweentwo varieties of sponge gourd is required. The undesirable or off-type plants are removed before flowering, during flowering, fruiting and maturity stages. Fruits are allowed to mature physiologically on plant rather than harvesting at horticultural maturity. Seeds are extractedwhen fruits are dry and seeds rattle inside the shell. After cleaning,dry seed is packed and stored under low temperature and low humidity conditions.